Exhibition | In Pursuit of Pleasure: The Polite and Impolite

Posted in conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on September 12, 2016


Now on view at Fairfax House:

In Pursuit of Pleasure: The Polite and Impolite World of Georgian Entertainment
Fairfax House, York, 29 July — 31 December 2016

From exotica to erotica, In Pursuit of Pleasure opens a window onto the outrageous and sometimes shocking behaviour of ‘polite society’—conducted in the name of entertainment.

Fairfax House’s major summer exhibition will look at the social scene in English towns and cities including London, delving into the tempting array of decadent activities and pleasurable pursuits catering for all tastes and predilections, sometimes challenging the notions of what ‘polite’ entertainment encompassed in the eighteenth century. In Pursuit of Pleasure also specifically uncovers the richness of Georgian York’s offerings as the social capital of the North and the place to see and be seen. With Burlington’s exquisite new Assembly Rooms, the excitement of the races, as well as the city’s renowned Theatre Royal, the city enjoyed a social and cultural renaissance. The explosion of luxury retail experiences combined to make York the destination of choice for those in pursuit of refined amusement. As well as exploring its lively winter season with rounds of dinners, balls, assemblies and parties, the exhibition delves into the city’s debauched diversions, including ‘polite’ society’s taste for notorious trials, visiting prisons and public hangings, the wanton pleasures available in the city’s brothels, as well as raucous activities such as cockfighting, bear baiting and street boxing. In exploring the full gamut of York’s lively social and cultural life In Pursuit of Pleasure reveals a fascinating world of the city’s exuberant, and often times murky, past.

The Fairfax House website includes images of objects in the exhibition, including a remarkable ivory dildo (more information on that here).

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

2016 Georgian Studies Symposium
Polite and Impolite Pleasures: Entertaining the Georgian City
York Hilton Hotel and Fairfax House, York, 21 October 2016

Early registration ends 30 September 2016

The Georgian era saw a huge increase in the range and variety of entertainments available to an expanding and urbanising population. In the towns and cities of Georgian Britain, urban life offered a dazzling and constantly changing kaleidoscope of pleasures that could be enjoyed for a price. The lowest and the highest forms of entertainment were catered for along with everything in between, from the cultivated recreations of the nobility through the gentility of middle-class leisure to the earthier enjoyments of the ‘common folk’.

New cultures of entertainment reflected changing patterns of work, mobility and social relations, and reflected developments in class, gender and the dynamics of personal and collective identity. The urban environment itself was affected by these changing cultures of entertainment. From London to provincial centres, industrial cities to market towns, new promenades, parks, streets and squares were developed, new theatres, assembly rooms and concert halls were built and embellished. And paralleling this brightly-lit and orderly world of polite pleasure was another, darker urban realm of more dubious diversions: prostitution and prize fights, the gambling stew and the drinking den.

From theatrical performances and musical recitals, assemblies and dances, to race meetings, boxing matches, cock fights and hangings, the fourth Fairfax House Symposium in Georgian Studies explores the theme of Georgian entertainment and the ‘polite and impolite pleasures’ of the long eighteenth century (c.1680–1830).

Keynote Speakers
Ivan Day (British and European culinary historian, scholar, broadcaster and writer)
‘Crocants, Collops, and Codsounds: Fashions in Dining and Food in Georgian Provincial Towns and Cities’
Murray Pittock (Bradley Professor of English Literature, University of Glasgow)
‘Music, Theatre, Innovation, and Resistance: Edinburgh in the First Age of Enlightenment’




New Book | Neo-Georgian Architecture, 1880–1970

Posted in books by Editor on September 12, 2016

Distributed in North America by The University of Chicago Press:

Julian Holder and Elizabeth McKellar, eds., Neo-Georgian Architecture, 1880–1970 (London: Historic England, 2016), 256 pages, ISBN: 978-1848022355, $100.

9781848022355Neo-Georgian design, which began with a revival of the Georgian ideals of symmetry and classical proportion in the late nineteenth century, has exerted a powerful and enduring influence on English-language cultures around the world. Neo-Georgian Architecture, 1880–1970 assesses the impact of this movement through a consideration of the buildings, objects, institutions, and actors involved, contending that Neo-Georgianism was not simply another dying gasp of Revivalism but a complex assertion of national image and identity with a complicated, and at times fraught, relationship to modernism.

Julian Holder is Lecturer in the History and Theory of Architecture department at the University of Salford. Elizabeth McKellar is Professor of Architectural and Design History at the Open University.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊


Notes on Contributors
Foreword by Louise Campbell

1  Introduction: Reappraising the Neo-Georgian, Julian Holder and Elizabeth McKellar

I: Origins of the Neo-Georgian
2  Quality in Quality Street: Neo-Georgian and Its Place in Architectural History, Alan Powers
3  The Call to Order: Neo-Georgian and the Liverpool School of Architecture, Peter Richmond
4  Georgian London before Georgian London: Beresford Chancellor Rasmussen and ‘The true and sad story of the Regent’s Street’, Elizabeth McKellar

II: Developing the Neo-Georgian Language
5  Edwin Lutyens: Wrenaissance to Neo-Georgian, Margaret Richardson
6  Emanuel Vincent Harris: Civic, Civil and Sane, Julian Holder and Nick Holmes
7  Giles Gilbert Scott and Classical Architecture, Gavin Stamp
8  C. H. James: Neo-Georgian: From the Small House to the Town Hall, Nick Chapple

III: Establishing a New Tradition: Typologies of the Neo-Georgian
9  Banker’s Georgian, Neil Burton
10 A State of Approval: Neo-Georgian Architecture and His Majesty’s Office of Works, 1914–1939, Julian Holder
11 Neo-Georgian: The Other Style in Britain’s 20th-century University Architecture?, William Whyte

IV: Neo-Georgian: A Prelude to Modernism?
12 ‘Modern Swedish Rococo’: The Neo-Georgian Interior in Britain, c. 1920–1945, Clare Taylor
13 ‘A Live Universal Language’: The Georgian as Motif in interwar English Architectural Modernism, Elizabeth Darling

V: Global Neo-Georgian
14 The Neo-Georgian in New Zealand, 1918– 1939: Architectural Revivalism at the End of Empire, Ian Lochhead
15 ‘Phony Coloney’: The Reception of the Georgian and the Construction of 20th-Century America, Stephen Hague


Call for Papers | Medals and Tokens in Europe

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on September 12, 2016

From H-ArtHist (7 September 2016). . .

Art for the Powerful, Multiple Objects: Medals and Tokens
in Europe from the Renaissance to the First World War
Art du puissant, objet multiple: Médailles et jetons en

Europe, de la Renaissance à la Première Guerre mondiale
Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris, 30 March — 1 April 2017

Proposals due by 6 November 2016

The medal was revived in the princely courts of fifteenth-century Italy as a commemorative art and quickly adopted by sovereigns across Europe. Medals, tokens, and other metallic objects devoid of fiduciary value became more and more widespread and benefitted from several peaks of popularity in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, as illustrated by the metallic histories of Louis XIV or Napoleon, a format adopted by others as far afield as the Tsar of Russia. Whilst changes in taste led the medal to be seen as in or out of fashion at different moments, it has continued to maintain its essentially commemorative function and has been used to express the ideals of all manner of political regimes from monarchies to republics.

This symposium seeks to explore the specificity of a form of official art that associates image and text, producing objects whose message is also partially conveyed by the hierarchy of values intrinsic to the metals used, from the noblest gold to more modest alloys. As objects that can be reproduced, that are easily portable and largely distributed, their biographies also tend to be quite distinct from that of other types of art objects. An initial specificity is that of the role of the engraver whose function oscillates between that of an artist, an artisan, and an agent of a commissioning power. His artistic practice can be considered in some sense as paradoxical in so much as it is constrained by the conventions of the medium and by the outline of the project which his talent is called on to convey in material form. This opens up to the question of the expressive aims of this official art that seeks to capture and commemorate History as it happens, fortifying the glory of the commissioning party. Indeed, medals and tokens represent the result of the interplay of the different actors who contribute to their elaboration: from the initial idea developed by a commissioning power and affiliated scholars, to the drawing of a model, to the production and diffusion of the multiple editions of the final product. Medals also need to be considered as part of a wide range of visual productions that share a common language dedicated to reinforcing the powers in place. Finally, greater attention needs to be paid to the manner in which these objects (and their models) have circulated, in particular by considering the development of a market for modern and contemporary medals and their status in the make-up of private and public coin collections. This may also be an opportunity to consider the reciprocal influence between the evolution of the taste and interest of collectors and production styles, techniques, and themes through time.

This conference will showcase current research that can provide an alternative to a very dispersed historiography dominated by the genre of the catalogue. We hope that a comparative effort, with cases from across Europe, in a large chronological frame will help to establish an interdisciplinary approach to the production and circulation of medals and similar objects; one that reflects their complex nature and the specificity of their biographies. We welcome perspectives from a range of disciplines and research perspectives including art history, social and political history, numismatics, material culture studies, etc.

Proposal of no more than 400 words should be sent accompanied by a short CV before the 6th of November 2016 to the following address: colloquemedailles2017@gmail.com. Each presentation should aim to be no longer than 20 minutes, and the conference papers will be published. Languages are French and English. The organizing committee will give notice of acceptance by mid December 2016.

Organizing Committee
Felicity Bodenstein, docteur en Histoire de l’art, Kunsthistorisches
Institut, Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut
Thomas Cocano, doctorant en Histoire, EPHE
Ludovic Jouvet, doctorant en Histoire de l’art, Université de Bourgogne/ INHA
Katia Schaal, doctorante en Histoire de l’art, École du Louvre / Université de Poitiers / INHA
Sabrina Valin, doctorante en Histoire de l’art, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense

Scientific Committee
Marc Bompaire, directeur d’études, EPHE
Béatrice Coullaré, chargée de conservation, Monnaie de Paris
Frédérique Duyrat, directrice du département des Monnaies, Médailles et Antiques, BnF
Victor Hundsbuckler, conservateur du patrimoine, responsable de la Conservation, Monnaie de Paris
Thierry Sarmant, conservateur en chef, Service historique de la Défense à Vincennes
Philippe Thiébaut, conservateur général du patrimoine, conseiller scientifique, INHA
Inès Villela-Petit, conservatrice du patrimoine, département des Monnaies, Médailles et Antiques, BnF

Institutional Partners
Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (École doctorale 395, Milieux, cultures et sociétés du passé et du présent – Laboratoire du HAR, Histoire des Arts et des Représentations)
École pratique des hautes études (EPHE)
Monnaie de Paris
Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)
Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA)

%d bloggers like this: